Affect and Fairness
We investigate the role of affect and deliberation on social preferences. In our laboratory experiment subjects decide on a series of mini Dictator games while they are under varying degrees of cognitive load. The cognitive load is intended to decrease deliberation and therefore enhance the influence of affect on behavior. In each game subjects have two options: they can decide between a fair or an unfair allocation. We find that subjects in a high-load condition are more generous - they more often choose the fair allocation than subjects in a low-load condition. The series of mini Dictator games also allows us to investigate how subjects react to the gamesï¿½ varying levels of advantageous inequality. Low-load subjects react considerably more to the degree of advantageous inequality. Our results therefore underscore the importance of affect for basic altruistic behavior and deliberation in adjusting decisions to a given situation.
|Date of creation:||2011|
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